Delaware’s Lazarus Phenomenon: Expired Statute of Limitations Can Be Revived by Inadvertent Payment of Medical Bills

Delaware’s Lazarus Phenomenon: Expired Statute of Limitations Can Be Revived by Inadvertent Payment of Medical Bills

Today we are fortunate to have a guest blogger—the erudite and ever-popular Mike Sensor.  This weekend brought the third birthday of his daughter, Ketevan Sophia, and a new development in an old case.  For the background on this statute of limitations issue, see my posts of 7/31/12 (Not Just Another Daddy’s Girl.….) and 8/21/13 (Daddy’s Girl, Part 2).

So says Mike, by way of update:

“The employer has withdrawn its appeal to the Supreme Court in the case of Joseph Uniatowski v. Del Tech Engineering/United Dominion Industries, IAB No. 1206645. In that case, as you previously reported, the Board held that over $12,000.00 in worker’s compensation payments made seven years after the running of the statute of limitations tolled the statute of limitations because the payments were made under a “feeling of compulsion”.

/legalnewsroom/workers-compensation/b/workers-compensation-law-blog/archive/2012/07/31/workers-compensation-law-medical-payments-daddys-girl-new-development-statute-of-limitations-delaware.aspx

The Board’s opinion was subsequently appealed to the Superior Court, where it was affirmed in an opinion authored by Judge Rocanelli.

/legalnewsroom/workers-compensation/b/recent-cases-news-trends-developments/archive/2013/08/21/daddy-s-girl-part-2-de-superior-court-affirms-iab-ruling-on-statute-of-limitations.aspx

A Motion for Reargument in the Superior Court was denied. Copy is attached (Click here).

The appeal followed, and was withdrawn on Friday 1/24/14.

The state of the law in Delaware is now that payments made after the running of the five-year statute of limitations will serve to reopen the statute.

So today, two days before Ketevan Sophia’s third birthday, here is recent photo. How she has grown since this litigation started!”

I still do not get how the IAB and the Court on appeal find a “feeling of compulsion” where the statute of limitations has run and bills are clearly paid inadvertently.  The whole situation brings to mind a Scripture: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways,” says the Lord. Isaiah 55:8 [NKJV]  Leaves me thinking that the tribunal, like God, sees things just a tad differently than us mere mortals.

Congrats to Mike Sensor on this victory………and a very happy birthday to Keti Spaghetti, as she is affectionately called.

Irreverently yours,
Cassandra Roberts

    Visit Delaware Detour & Frolic, a law blog by Cassandra Roberts

 

For more information about LexisNexis products and solutions connect with us through our corporate site